Why I explore Wicca more than other religions

As someone delving into different theologies and practices as a way of finding my own personal path, I have personally gained a lot from exploring Wicca, and have integrated many of the ideas into my daily practice.

Would I call myself Wiccan? I am still yet to find any religion I want to identify with, because so many theologies and practices have influenced where I am today, it wouldn’t feel accurate to say I am this or I am that.

However, Wicca is probably the most dominant in my current practice. Now this isn’t because I have found a deity I resonate with, or that I am busy casting spells to create abundance or love in my life. Actually, my Wicca based practice looks very different to that.

For me personally, I have gained a lot from Wicca in that it provides some real tools for psychological and physical healing. It has helped me connect to myself, to nature, and to spirit in a more tangible way.

At first I felt irritated by the ideas, questioning why tools were necessary when it is really a very internal process. Over time however, I found the tools really helped me focus, far better than any standard meditation practice ever had.

I questioned why deity seemed to be such a necessary part of it, when so many people were saying it was a very individual religion and there were no rules. But as I dived deeper, I found people practicing with all sorts of beliefs, and they certainly were not all pagan. I also found some benefit to deity to integrate aspects of myself, as archetypes I do find deity a beneficial way to connect with parts of myself I have rejected or not been able to believe was part of me.

Unlike other religions, it really does seem to lack any dogma. The apparent rules are really more a result of the individual practitioner you are learning from sharing what worked from them.

The other thing I questioned when I began exploring this, is the fanfare that seemed standard in many prewritten spells. I now know, that this is really more of an example of how it can be done, than a this is the only way it will work (which is what I originally thought). I’ve actually never used a spell from a book, but rather used the ideas from books to create my own process. I found there were processes that were very powerful for me, and other ideas that just were a bit benign.

The only aspect I still cannot find any connection with is ritual. This is probably more a result of growing up without any real religious practice in my house, so ritual seems strange in any form. Obviously I have rituals like brushing my teeth every day, but that is as far as it goes. I do however enjoy taking notice of what the moon is doing, and how it is impacting me emotionally, which is in a small way connecting with the idea of ritual.

The aspect of Wicca though that really has held the most benefit is the idea of the feminine and masculine energies. Many spiritual teachers do talk about this, but I personally have found it very difficult to find harmony between the masculine and feminine within. Experiences in life have had me basically reject my inner masculine, but Wicca has provided some methods to create that harmony and reconnect with that masculine part of myself I previously wanted nothing to do with.

Would I recommend exploring Wicca to others? I personally try not to recommend anything to others, but if asked, I would definitely recommend trying it out and diving deep before making a decision. After all, I do feel we all have different needs when it comes to spirituality, and what works for one may not work for another. If nothing else finding out what Wicca is really all about will open your mind and create understanding, which is always a good thing.

 

How female superheroes help the feminine collective tap into the warrior archetype

Throughout history, there has pretty much always been great male warrior characters in stories, but the occurrence of women in these roles was a lot less common. Sure, there are some decent female warrior types amongst pagan goddesses, but apart from that I can’t say I really noticed many while I was growing up.

In my childhood, as a child of the 80s, the damsel in distress was the most common female hero being presented in books, tv, and movies.

But as I got older, female warriors were becoming more and more common. The terminator series shows a pretty great example with Sarah Conner, who in the first movie has no ability to defend herself, but by the second had turned herself into a warrior in order to protect her son.

Buffy was another great example, a very petite and seemingly defenseless female that saves the world a lot. As a teenager when this series began, being shown an example of a character that was strong and capable, but still able to maintain her femininity was incredibly empowering. Even though these skills were magical, the show made an effort to show how hard she trained to achieve this, and even went so far as to take how powers away in an episode to show that she could fight the monsters with intelligence alone.

Yes, I am a buffy fan.

What I am noticing these days though, is that female warrior characters aren’t just the occasional occurrence, and they aren’t necessarily sexualised as can be seen with Rey Skywalker.

I particularly love the way in superhero comic movies, female superheroes are playing starring roles, like Captain Marvel. For the children of today, this is powerful for boys and girls alike.

For me personally, I greatly value these characters. Tapping into my warrior archetype in my everyday life has not been something I find easy to do. This isn’t to say I want to go and beat up the bad guys and shoot people, it’s that the warrior archetype allows us to feel strong and that we can defend ourselves, that it is within our power to protect those we love if we need to.

For this reason, I value watching these types of shows as much as any other spiritual endeavour, and honestly believe it to be healing. So next time you are sitting down watching some seemingly B grade movie with a loveable female superhero, treat it as a healing experience, you are definitely not just wasting your time with simple entertainment.

…and if you are just wasting your time with simple entertainment, shrug and smile, and remember we are here for fun too.

 

Underlying spiritual and psychological reasons for illness, and why I’m calling BS on it

As someone who has endured lengthy periods of debilitating chronic illness (and I mean years), I find the idea that there might be a psychological or spiritual reason behind it a bit difficult.

This isn’t to say I don’t think it holds any truth, I actually think it is very valid and holds a lot of truth. But from the very earth based 3D reality I live in, it is a little irrelevant.

Sure, I can absolutely see how long term chronic illness has helped me evolve spiritually. I have done past life regressions to see if there is anything karmic behind it, delved into inner child work, shadow work, as well as typical psychology to deal with my experiences in life.

Here is the conclusion I recently came to though, and trust me when I say I’ve had a lot of time since I have been recently plunged back in to facing the chronic illness challenge. It just doesn’t matter.

All of this stuff can be true, and still not matter. This is because we do exist in a human body, and no matter how spiritually evolved we may be, we still need to address and deal with issues within this physical vessel (maybe with the exception of a few very enlightened people, not there yet).

This isn’t to say the inner work isn’t worth doing, it absolutely is. Inner work is lifelong, and facing challenges isn’t the only reason to dive deep. What I have realised though, is while the inner work is important for my healing on many levels, including physical, this isn’t in the absence of 3D strategies.

I still need to see doctors, take medicines, try various healing modalities, and ultimately give myself the loving care I need.

This spiritual truth is valid, but like many spiritual truths, it isn’t in opposition to earth based realities. It is actually in tandem with them, and both areas are part of healing.

The ‘G’ bomb and pantheism

It can be very difficult when you first start exploring spiritual teachings after many years of feeling fairly solid as an atheist to deal with how often the ‘G’ bomb is dropped.

These days I don’t consider myself atheist at all, fairly likely you could define me fairly correctly as a pantheist. As such, I have my own beliefs of what I feel god is, but since this isn’t in line with the traditional Christian man in the sky version I grew up hearing about, hearing the word is a little triggering.

I do realise it is possibly a sign of a need for some inner work if I am still treating the word god as if it is a swear word, but in my circles for a very long time, it was. Now this isn’t because I grew up surrounded by heathens, this is actually because many of my close circle did grow up with Christianity and had rejected the idea as they grew up, feeling it wasn’t in line with their own personal path.

It has taken me some time to understand that many people use the word god who also hold a fairly pantheist view, so I have found teachers I resonate with because of this. I have even become comfortable with reading books that use the word god frequently, as I have come to see that many of the teachings are still worth taking in, even if the surrounding stories are not in line with my own beliefs.

A while ago, I watched a video by Matt Kahn, who made an interesting statement which I actually found at the time a little offensive. He basically said that your comfort with the word god was an indication of spiritual maturity. Hmmm, thanks Matt, for calling me a child.

Here is the thing that has surprised me, he was actually kind of right. Because really, it is just a word, and we can attach any meaning we want to it.

Does that mean I am now more spiritually mature? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps I have just come to a point of not needing others to have my own point of view to find what they have to say valid. Or, perhaps I have started just attaching a different meaning to the word so effectively myself, that it just isn’t a trigger for me anymore.

Ultimately, I don’t think it would ever be my preferred defining word for what I personally feel or believe. I do prefer oneness, all that is, or the universe, but it is no longer because I personally find the word god triggering, it is more that I feel within my circles other words are just going to be better understood.

Did you notice the lack of capital letter at the beginning of the word god? My small way of expressing I mean oneness and not an almighty interventionist version.

As an extra note, this is not intended as a post to offend those with different beliefs, just an exploration of my own struggle with a simple word.

New beginnings

Around a year and a half ago, I found myself after having my life turned upside down by a series of catalysts (AKA trauma) having a fairly unexpected experience. I didn’t know what to call it at the time, I now know it as an awakening, but at the time what I was actually thinking was that I had finally gone crazy.

In truth this journey began well before that, a lifetime of experiences and lessons had led me there, but it seemed all I needed was the final piece. In my case, the final piece was the result of a yoga retreat.

I had practiced yoga on and off for many years, had explored meditation, journaling, and what I now know as shadow work. But at this retreat it all came together, and the bigger picture came exploding into my awareness. Like many who have an awakening (not all, we all have different paths), I felt deep peace, oneness, like the entire world was vibrating and I only just noticed. My understanding now is that this really was the first stage, and that deeper awakenings happen after this, because the rabbit hole goes pretty deep and I am yet to find the end, if there is one.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the come down from this was pretty intense, and I found myself deep in my own inner muck going through my own dark night of the soul.

For many years I had considered myself atheist, proudly arguing for science and absolute solid ‘truths’, only to find myself questioning everything I previously believed and knew.

So of course I did what anybody does in this situation, I went seeking answers. At first I looked outside of myself, watching, reading, learning. It took some time for me to realise that I had to go within. After first trying some less than ideal solutions (you know, drinking a lot, shopping, escaping), I eventually decided my quick fixes weren’t working, and I turned to what I already knew. Meditation became a daily habit, I got back into journaling and shadow work, but it wasn’t enough. I needed to understand more.

I started exploring different religions, myths, watching channelled messages, and reading about ideas I previously judged as crazy.

I believe this journey is lifelong, and while I have gained a lot by exploring deeply, I know that I am a student on this path, and I am nowhere near what I would consider an expert. But as this path can be long and lonely, I felt it was time to share my experiences and explorations with the hope that it reaches someone in need.

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